Friday, November 11, 2005

Just Me And A-Rod

I was thinking about the Yankees yesterday (such an uncommon occurrence), about Alex Rodriguez specifically and how he’s right up there with the Hollywood celebrities in terms of visibility. We’re hardly a week removed from the incident where A-Rod was seen playing poker at illegal (to operate, not to participate) underground clubs. There are constantly notions being tossed around as to his character: he’s a prima donna, that he’s not a team player, that he can’t handle pressure, or that he’s just a plain dick.

This got me to thinking, am I like A-Rod at all? The first thought to pop in my head was, “well, we’re both handsome, charming individuals,” so there was already a plus in the column. But after mulling over the issue a bit more, I found out that A-Rod and I aren’t all that alike.

For starters, I am a very eligible bachelor. For all the beautiful single women out there, you can dial me up any time because I know no anchors. Sure, I have my share of concubines, but as Dexter Holland would say, “she ain’t no ball and chain.” A-Rod, however, is married, and officially off the market. He may have a beautiful wife, but that’s just one woman. Me = available. A-Rod = unavailable.

(Oh, A-Rod, Ice Cube may have some advice for you: “Sometimes I used to wonder / How the hell an ugly dude get a fine girl’s number / He’s gettin juiced for all his Ducats.” Take it from me, A-Rod, because “ I tell a girl in a minute yo, I drive a bucket / And won’t think nuttin of it.”)

Second, A-Rod requires therapy to keep his mental health in check. Me, I’m 100 percent mentally sound, or at least by clinical standards. I’m not knocking on anyone in therapy, but let’s be honest. Who would rather be in therapy than be healthy enough to not need it? Not bragging, just making an observation.

I also don’t judge people by what salary they make, like A-Rod did with Derek Jeter. I realize that most people aren’t paid what they are worth, so making a comment about it is pointless. A-Rod, he seems to think it an insult that Jeter comes within $7 million of his contract.

Oh, and I have a college education. A-Rod, not so much. He seemed to think that playing professional baseball was an apt substitute for receiving a piece of paper that literally millions of Americans possess. What are you going to do, A-Rod, when your playing career is over and Phil Helmuth takes all of your money in an all or nothing poker game?

There are a few other little things that differentiate myself from Mr. Rodriguez, but I don’t think they’re worth nitpicking over.

In actual news, Javier Vazquez formally requested a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks, exercising a clause in the CBA that allows players traded after the first year of a multi-year contract to demand a ticket to another city or be released. The D-Backs have until March 15th to work out a trade or plead with Javy to stay. At that time, barring a deal, he would be placed on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark lists the Mets, Marlins, Red Sox, Phillies, Blue Jays, Tigers and Cardinals as possible suitors for Vazquez. But Stark is underestimating the Fantasy GMs in New York. You know they’re sitting at their computers, plotting a Cano and Chacon for Vazquez trade proposal that will drive us the way of Syd Barrett. These are the same people who have been advocating Johnny Damon for center field, would trade Wang for Torii Hunter, and think that there’s an iota of a prayer that J.P. Ricciardi would send us Vernon Wells under any circumstances.

So I’ve run out of material (it happens), but I do want to link to this superb piece from the LA Times, wherein they allow a writer from Reason magazine to rag on Bill Plaschke. If you hate Plaschke as much as me, you’ll at least get a few yuks out of this one.